‘Dog to die a Dog’s death’ – The death of ‘ethical journalism’
The Tabloid press is known its (obvious) lack of ethics and objectivity. In particular, this raises serious concerns about ethical reportage on environmental and animal issues.
Writer: Meera Vijayann
Sometime last December, The Bangalore Mirror carried this story on a rabid dog being beaten to death by residents of a particular neighborhood alongside an image of a man literally dragging the dead dog on a motorbike. It wasn’t just the imagery that was horrifying but also the fact that the article blatantly supported the act and completely overlooked deeper animal rights issues. It seemed to disregard that there are over a thousand stray dogs in Bangalore, ignored by authorities because of the lack of facilities to treat them and lack of animals centres to attend to them. What was worse was the way it defended cruelty to animals.
Two very important facts that it were missing in this ridiculous article:
1) NGOs like ABC (Animal Birth Control) and CUPA ( Compassion Unlimited Plus Action) tend to stray dogs. CUPA has the largest number of wards that tends to Rabid dogs. It handles over 2100 dogs in a month ¹.
2) The number of stray dogs as in census year 2000 was 70,000. Dog bites and rabies cases have decreased in areas where ABC Programme is carried out².
“Article 51(A)(g) of the Indian Constitution clearly states that it is fundamental Duty of all citizens to show compassion for all living creatures.”
“Animal Birth Control Rules (2001) issued under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act,1960,(PCA Act) prescribes sterilisation of all healthy dogs ad killing of sick and rabid dogs. These rules override all other laws, which are opposed to animals.”
While we all know that the Tabloid press thrives on obvious sensationalism, but it is a matter of concern that it packages information to misinform. This is something we should all be concerned about. Of the many people who find a copy of the Bangalore Mirror at their doorstep and devour all its sensational poppycock, imagine how many might actually believe it is perfectly fine to treat animals this way.
* 1 & 2 – Source: CUPA website